Amity, the Federation, and Moral Cowardice
By Kiyaini Ri’zella.
I write this article shortly before the Amity Expo, an effort by the Federation Diplomatic Corps and Starfleet to show it’s benevolent intentions and to foster more connections with the nearby neighbors. The hard work of building friendships often starts with efforts like this, ones that deepen understanding and knowledge while acknowledging that many sentients want most of the same things.
The Expo is to be a grand display of the knowledge, the culture and the public face of the Federation. One which, to be sure, is the face the Federation wants to present to others and believe itself to be, and one we want to be. Many of us who know better, who have seen the failings of the Federation in the small scale, still think expos like this are a good idea since the only way for the Federation to get better is to work at it. After all, for all the good the Federation does, for the nobility of the dream of the Federation.. It does come with a lot of grandstanding. Although, I am looking forward to the race, since that usually does not come with a lot of grandstanding, just tempers.
But to bring you up to speed to local events, we need to know the players.
A local polity, bordering the Amity system on three sides (albeit on the other side of the nearby nebula) is the Kathesis Pact, formed approximately 30 standard years ago as an interstellar government. It is the successor of the Kathesis Wardens (the closest translation I can give you that doesn’t ruin the meaning), which itself formed nearly half a millennia ago. This polity is named after the world Kathesis, a colony world of the Nygeans. A Viidian attack about 504 years ago destroyed the colony, and the Mislenites were so incensed that they retaliated and they destroyed the ships involved. With this, they began to band together, such that Viidian forays into their space became more armored, but less frequent. Approximately three hundred years ago, the Kathesis Wardens started raids into Viidian dominated space ,and theywere declared as a means of deterrence and to prevent depredations on worlds within their space, and only ceased 20 years ago when the Viidian Star Union announced the Phage had been cured by the Think Tank, and withdrew to its own borders.
The Viidians, who one must remember attacked the USS Voyager, and killed multiple crewmembers, even after we gave them technology that would let them clone organs so they could stop stealing them from still living sentients – killing them in the process, have been praying on their neighbors for two millennia. One can’t help but be bowed over by the weight of the history here in the Delta Quadrant. While there are indications that they have reformed since the end of the Phage, I was unable to find any criminal tribunals, or reparations, or more than sincere regret.
It is possible that all of this is just too raw for the local powers to work between themselves. I certainly would be surprised if the Federation and Dominion relations were cordial enough for this, to be sure. And as one of the few survivors of the destruction of the Salinthis Freeport, I am still unable to forgive the Fenris Rangers, even if I now intellectually understand why they did it, and why the Federation stood aside, and let an entire world wither away. Forgiveness is not something the perpetrators can demand, it is up to the victims to grant.
And that brings me to my reason for writing this article.
As of 1150, station time, the Kathesis Pact released a press release condemning the inclusion of the Viidians in the Expo. Included is an excerpt from the release.
“We cannot permit a species that still has yet to face true justice for the billions they have slain in an attempt to perpetuate their own lives, one that has twisted attempts to help into more depredations. More so, we cannot allow any species or polity to become complicit in their attempts to rehabilitate themselves while not properly addressing their past.”
It goes on to threaten up to a total blockade of this system, and I am going to ask follow up questions at a later date – for example for something like transports that use the Quantum Slipstream Drive, how do they propose to interdict that? But they clearly think such an action is worth it’s potential risk
Now, it doesn’t surprise me that the Federation invited the Viidians. After all, this is a navy that doesn’t train it’s officers in how to handle boarding, that colluded with the Son’a during the Dominion War, and even now, has many voices against anything militaristic. And with the Diplomatic Core in charge of the station, many decisions about the expo seemed determined to avoid conflict. I was going to chalk it up to a naive attempt at promoting rapprochement and maybe meditation between the two powers – the Federation has, to its credit, arbitrated many strong conflicts.
Except, approximately 15 minutes ago, the ship attached to the station, the USS Independence-B has departed the station quietly, and went to warp. Straight towards the least-time cone from the Viidian Star Union.
One wonders why. The ideas – they wanted to warn the Viidians, a species that should expect this, reek of the cowardice of the Federation – a polity that refuses to stand by its morals. If it’s wrong, why not hold others to this? Because, as any Bajoran can tell you, the Federation has a nasty habit of saying “We tried nothing, and we’re all out of ideas” rather than get its hands dirty with the hard work of BEING a moral leader. But… why would they warn the Viidians?
Then I realized that it was entirely possible they weren’t aware of the backlash. Which implied that they weren’t arbitrating on anything, but that they just invited the Viidians. And that is frightening for two reasons – one: they didn’t think to look into the current situation, and two: they would invite murderers on a grand scale without more thought. Certainly, if the local infonet is any indication, this came as a surprise to many here. Including officers, ones you would think you’d alert for possible security risks.
But I dream that one day the leadership will find the basic courage to stand up to people who decided to turn marauder, to stop species from dying due to natural events, and to stop the exploitation of sentients, to do the hard work of standing for their morality. Or, at least, know what they’re doing before they leap